News Release

New Zealand Latter-day Saints Receive New Years Honours 

Recognizing Decades of Service to Family, Church, Community and Nation

Mr Roma Hippolite and Mr Iain McKay, both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were named Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit this week.

Mr Hippolite was recognised for his commitment to health for Maori people.  

He is a former member of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and Chair of Te Rau Matatini Ltd., which provides a strategic focus for Maori workforce training, education and capability building solutions for the advancement of indigenous health and well being.

Mr Hippolite was also a Treaty Settlement Negotiator for Ngati Koata iwi.

"I have served on boards (particularly health) and been involved in our iwi and acted as their negotiator," Mr Hippolite said. "Everything I did was with a team. It's just that someone decided to pick me for this honour, but it's always been teamwork."

Roma and his wife Robyn recently moved to Melbourne where they are members of the Latter-day Saints' Sunbury Ward (congregation).

"We are living Melbourne while I start up a new international business," Mr Hippolite says. "We do miss seeing our kids and moko's regularly."

Mr Iain McKay was honoured for his services to United States/New Zealand relations.

Mr McKay has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1963.

“Over the years the additional titles of Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather have been added,” he says. “These are the ones that have eternal significance.”

“One of the highlights of my Church service was to serve in a volunteer capacity as Director of the Temple Square Concert Series for 25 years. In that calling I was able to invite countless New Zealand musicians to perform on Temple Square in either the Tabernacle or Assembly Hall in twice weekly concerts open to the community.”

He added: “Many were winners of the Mobil Song Quest (now Lexus) when I served as International Advisor to the Song Quest for many years. Many NZ musicians made their North American Debut on Temple Square going on to successful international careers.  Oft times, these concerts were recorded for delayed broadcast on Radio New Zealand.

“Besides our young New Zealand artists,” Mr McKay continues, “celebrities such as Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, National Band of New Zealand, NZ Youth Choir, Turnovsky Trio, Jonathan Lemalu. Terrence Dennis, Michael Houston,Maurice Till and Peter Averi all came and performed and became our Ambassadors. Organist and NZ Broadcasting employee Peter Averi, still retains the record of performing organists having given seven recitals in the Assembly Hall and Tabernacle over the years.”

As New Zealand  Honorary Consul based in Utah for the past 20 years, Mr McKay represents New Zealand in Colorado, Montana, Utah & Wyoming.

“There are over 3,000 known Kiwi's living in the state of Utah alone,” Mr McKay says, “and we also have a flourishing NZ-American Society which was founded by the late David Atkinson and now continued by his wife Jennie Atkinson."

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